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Based on 14 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 1 )
  • 50
    Jack Mathews New York Daily News

    As urban gangster drama, Once in the Life is way below mundane, and Fishburne's direction exceeds the rookie jitters. show more

  • 68
    Kevin Maynard Mr. Showbiz

    Has a credibly gritty texture, thanks in large part to Fishburne's generosity with his fellow actors. show more

  • 63
    Michael Wilmington Chicago Tribune

    Strong, hard, dirty, funny, moving atmospheric and laced with scabrously musical street dialogue. show more

  • 63
    Lou Lumenick New York Post

    Basically it's an acting exercise - a one-set rendition of that old stage and movie standby, the ex-convict struggling to go straight who's tempted to attempt one last score. show more

  • 50
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    The movie remains an actor's exercise--too much dialogue, too much time in the room, too much happening offstage, or in the past, or in memory, or in imagination. show more

  • 40
    Ken Fox TV Guide

    The good news is that Fishburne also stars, and has recruited a talented group of actors to flesh out the cast; the bad news is that no one seems to have been on hand to help out with the rest of film. show more

  • 75
    Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly

    Showcases a trio of terrific performances. show more

  • 50
    Sean Axmaker Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    If Laurence Fishburne could only have harnessed his fierce performance to drive his directoral debut, Once in the Life might have made something memorable of the done-to-death tale of small-time crooks on the run after a heist gone wrong. show more

  • 80
    Kevin Thomas Los Angeles Times

    Fishburne excels in his triple-threat roles as actor, director and adapter of his own play, and his cast glows under his direction. show more

  • 70
    F. X. Feeney L.A. Weekly

    May lack any transcendent point that would make it exceptional, but it is certainly a worthy start, and worth catching. show more

  • November 22, 2013 warshap7
    Report This User

    An intense film. All of the acting is solid, and Fishburne is exceptional.

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